WHALLEY â€” The bleachers at Whalley Little League Major Diamond were packed Saturday (Aug. 16) as the association paid respects to a member of its family.
Lars Allemann, coach of the junior team, passed away on July 31, shortly after the team came home following the Canadian championships.
The 49-year-old had a heart condition and died in his sleep.
Willy Flodin, who coached the juniors alongside Allemann, said that he was anextremely likeable character.
"For me, (Allemann) was a guy that I always liked coming to the park to see. Our kids were the same age. We sat on the sidelines when I wasn’t coaching or when (the kids) were practicing and we’d just chat about baseball," Flodin said.
"He was real easy to talk to and we had some fun."
The memorial service that was held had hot dogs, hamburgers, a pick-up game and an open mic for anyone who wanted to say a few words or share a story about the coach.
Mark Deshane, vice-president of Whalley Little League, said it made sense that this celebration of life happened at the ballpark, one of Allemann’s favourite places.
"We’re glad you could all dedicate some time to support the Allemann family here today to remember Lars in his home park and say goodbye to a man who was a friend,a coach, a father and part of our baseball community. We will miss him."
Allemann’s ex-wife Joanne said, "Lars did everything for my kids. He made my life so easy."
Alleman has two sons, Braeden and Jared. Braeden, who grew up playing with Whalley, is entering his second year as a catcher with UBC, while Jared was part of the junior team coached by his father and Flodin.
Prior to leaving for their Canadian championship, the senior team placed patches with Allemann’s initials on their shoulders.
It is estimated that Allemann helped coach close to 300 kids in his time with Whalley Little League.